[ESS] Freezing during R executions

Tarjinder Sahota tarjinder.z.sahota at gsk.com
Wed Feb 24 12:01:55 CET 2010


I'm an emacs/ess newbie and would really appreciate a little help on an R problem I'm having.  I've seen similar questions posed before, but from what I can see, I haven't seen the answer I'm looking for.

The problem: when I'm in emacs and sending R code to the R buffer I get frequent freezes/unresponsiveness with the whole emacs program (with both C-c C-l and C-c C-r, with and without (setq ess-eval-visibly-p nil)).  Usually I can C-g after a C-c C-l, and it'll be responsive for a few seconds, but then it'll lock up again and C-g won't work until the script has finished.  Without (setq ess-eval-visibly-p nil), C-c C-r gives the same problem and with it, emacs will still wait for the script to finish.

Background info: I'm using GNU emacs/ess from Vincent Goulet (emacs-23.1-modified-4.exe) on Windows XP.  Although the same happens with XEmacs (21.4.22) & ESS (5.7.1).  The script I'm running involves system() commands which launch a process in NONMEM and wait for the results to come back.  These can take a while.

I would like to be able to use other buffers during this time.  If, instead of using emacs, I run the same scripts using the R gui, only the R console window will become unresponsive, but other windows containing scripts can still be edited.  My current little workaround is to have a separate instance of emacs running with only an R buffer so I can copy and paste code and not have my main emacs freeze, but this isn't optimal.

My questions: Is this the intended behaviour? Is there some better workaround for me? Perhaps a way to pipe ESS commands into an R process outside that particular emacs instance and not wait for it to finish?

Thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions!!


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